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FG Inaugurates Enhanced e-Passport For Nigerians

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FG Inaugurates Enhanced e-Passport For Nigerians

The Federal Government has inaugurated enhanced e-passport to improve the passport application process for Nigerians at home and abroad.

Mr. Sola Fasure, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made known in a statement he issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the minister made the disclosure at the official rollout of the enhanced e-passport at the Nigerian High Commission, London.

READ ALSO: Lai Mohammed Says Lagos #EndSARS Panel Report Is Fake

The minister, who revealed that the Nigerian passport was the highest affirmation of Nigerian citizenship, noted that it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to provide the passport without any stress and within a reasonable period.

“What we have come to do here (UK) is symbolic of the core mandate of the ministry and indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria affirmation of citizenship integrity.

“As we are all aware, there have been huge challenges in passport administration, from a shortage of booklet to touting and an economy of corruption built around it.

“These challenges have persisted for too long and a lot of people have become cynical while others have taken them as normal and then roll with it.

“But I come from a tradition of problem-solving in public administration.

“I do not believe that any problem is insurmountable, so we are going to solve all the problems associated with passport administration and we are already succeeding, “ he said.

On the features of the enhanced passport, Aregbesola noted that it was a big improvement over the standard passport that was introduced back in 2007.

He said it has more sophisticated security features, making it one of the most secured passports in the world.

​“The enhanced e-passport is a great improvement on the biometric passport technology which Nigeria adopted in 2007 as a strategic step towards curbing forgery.

“Impersonation and other forms of frauds associated with obtaining travel documents under the old machine-readable passport regime.

“We are aware that technology rules the world and we are keeping abreast of the latest development in the field.

“Over the years, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) had worked assiduously and in close synergy with Messrs Iris Smart Technologies Limited to develop and implement passport reforms,’’ he said.

Aregbesola said the reforms are in tandem with international best practices, including extant International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Standards and Regulations.

The minister, who seized the opportunity to reel out some of the achievements of the NIS under his tenure, noted that the service had issued a total of 2.7 million Nigerian passports in the past two years.

“ We have taken substantial measures to address the issue of shortage of passport booklets.

“In 2021, the ministry approved the deployment of over 600,000 booklets, the largest of its kind ever done.

“That is not all. The NIS, through MIDAS, is now connected to INTERPOL and can upload information to the agency on lost, stolen, and invalidated passports in real-time.

“The ministry has consistently provided the enabling environment for the NIS to undertake and implement several reforms especially, with regard to border management and passport administration, as well as internal monitoring and control mechanisms,“ he said.

According to him, the aim is to enhance efficient and effective service delivery to Nigerians and foreigners alike,” the minister said.

In his remarks, the Acting Comptroller-General of NIS, Isa Jere, expressed the service’s readiness to meet the demands for passports in the UK.

Jere stated that his officers were ever ready to roll out the new passports at the official rate published on the NIS website.

“We are ready to serve the public and start rolling out the new enhanced e-passport in the UK with immediate effect. Our staff are professionals and will deliver excellent service to our citizens.

“Those who have any complaints whatsoever are advised to use the publicly listed complaints channels to adequately resolve any issues raised,” Jere advised.

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EEDC Connect: DisCo launches New App For Customers

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EEDC Connect: DisCo launches New App For Customers

The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), says it has newly launched its “EEDC Connect’ app for enhanced electricity customers interface, meant to ensure timely and superior service delivery.

EEDC’s Head of Communications, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, said in a statement on Saturday in Enugu that the multi-functional application (mobile App) is designed to allow customers to have access to the company’s services with ease.

Ezeh noted that some of the services the ‘EEDC Connect’ App would offer included: payment of bills, prompt request for support, viewing of payment history, registering complaints, and viewing your logged complaint to ascertain its current status.

READ ALSO: Shehu Shagari University of Education: New Varsity To Kick Off By 2022

According to him, the company has embraced information technology as a tool to make its operations efficient and transparent, both for the company and its customers.

He said: “To get started, customers are expected to download “EEDC Connect” on their mobile phones from “Google Play Store”, register, and obtain a One-Time Password (OTP) which should be keyed in, to complete the process.

“The launch of “EEDC Connect” is coming barely two weeks after the company introduced its “Online Bill Download Portal”, a service that allows its customers conveniently view/download their energy bills right from the EEDC website and make payment without necessarily waiting to receive the physical copy of their bills”.

Ezeh reiterated that the introduction of these initiatives is part of the company’s ongoing automation processes aimed at achieving efficiency and improving customer experience.

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Osinbajo Task Nigerians On Unity

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Osinbajo Task Nigerians On Unity

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, says Nigeria needs not just achievers, but men and women who are bridge-builders and unifiers.

The vice president said the nation needs people who will see its ethnic diversity as a source of strength, and not as a point of difference.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke at the turbaning ceremony of some prominent persons in Bida Emirate, Niger State.

READ ALSO: Sanusi’s Banishment From Kano Declared Illegal

In Bida, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji  Yahaya Abubakar, in a show of goodwill and appreciation, conferred on the vice president the

“Garkuwan Yamma Nupe”, which means – the Defender of Nupe Kingdom.“I am short of words to express our gratitude to the vice president.

It shows the concern you have for all Nigerians irrespective of who they are and where they come from,” Abubakar said.

The traditional ruler turbaned four prominent public officials including  Musa Abdullahi, a member of the House of Representatives, who was made the Gwarzon Nupe, and another member of the lower chamber, Bako  Kasimu, who became the Zarman Nupe.

Others were Engr. Muhammed Haruna, who was turbaned as the Dan Turakin Nupe – he is a member of the Niger State House of Assembly, and Dr Suleiman Sheshi, the Chairman of the Bida Local Government Council, who was given the title, Maina Nupe.

Osinbajo expressed his appreciation of the traditional ruler’s goodwill and congratulated all who were honoured at the event.

The Etsu Nupe has wisely chosen today to celebrate excellence and selfless service.

“They have all brought competence, commitment and character to the positions of responsibility entrusted to them.

And this is evident from all we know and what has been said about them.”

In his remarks afterwards, Osinbajo said that the conferment of the titles was a fresh call to service to the Bida community and the nation.

He restated the Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing security nationwide.“Our country needs men and women who understand that all men and women, regardless of race and faith, deserve to be treated equally, fairly and justly.

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders and the people to effectively tackle the current insecurity challenges in order to achieve a peaceful and prosperous society.

“This we promise to do to the glory of the Almighty and for the benefit of the people who elected us into office.

“Many sons and daughters of Nupe land have risen to prominence in Nigeria in both the pre-and post-independence era, making significant contributions to national development.”

The vice president said that that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration recognised the strategic importance of Nupe-land in national development.

According to him, a few weeks ago, the Federal Executive Council approved the reconstruction of key roads in Niger State.

He said the administration understood that in order to sustainably improve the standard of living of the people, it must address the persistent socio-economic inequalities by ensuring that people are gainfully engaged in legitimate economic activity.

The vice president celebrated the culture of the Nupe people and their contributions to national development over the course of the nation’s history.

“That is why we have and will continue to prioritise agricultural growth and development. Between July and September 2021, agriculture contributed almost 30 per cent of Nigeria’s total GDP. 

Nupe-land, with its vast farmlands and extensive farming activities, is key in delivering this figure.

Nupe kingdom is a land that is steeped in the splendour of tradition.

“Indeed, this occasion provides us with a platform to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the Nupe people, a proud and distinguished people with a unique history and looking around Wadata Palace here, we can see some of the vestiges of the battles, symbols of Nupe bravery and heroism.

“We are very fortunate to have one of its great sons, who had an illustrious career in the Nigerian military and rose to the rank of a General before he answered the call of service to his people, to take the seat of his forefathers as the 13th Etsu Nupe.

“His Royal Highness, Abubakar, our host today; is easily one of the most respected traditional leaders in Nigeria today,” he said.

Osinbajo was welcomed to Bida by  Gov. Abubakar Bello and was also accompanied on the trip by Sen. Sani Musa (APC-Niger East).

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PDP National Secretary Visits Orji Kalu, Begs Him To Return To Party

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PDP National Secretary Visits Orji Kalu, Begs Him To Return To Party

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday, appealed to the Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu to return to the party.

The National Secretary of the Party, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu, made the appeal when he led a delegation of members of the PDP to visit Kalu in his Abuja residence.

The appeal is coming barely two weeks that the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu visited the former governor of Abia in Abuja. Anyanwu, shortly after a one-hour closed-door meeting with Kalu, said that their meeting centred on what would be profitable to the country.

READ ALSO: PDP Leaders Hold Closed-door Meeting With Orji Kalu

According to him, we came to visit a friend, a leader in the South-East and one of our own and to acquaint him with the developments in our party.

“And to let him know the reason why he should move over to our party. We had a good discussion and this is just the beginning,’’ he said.

Anyanwu noted that the visit was part of efforts by the PDP to bring their members back and reposition the party.

“We are talking about bringing people back to the party because the more the merrier.

“This is a place he started, so you have to leave where you are and go back to where you started,’’ Anyanwu stressed. Kalu, an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and a reliable member of the APC left the PDP in November 2016.

Though he has not openly declared interest in the 2023 presidential election, his presidential posters flooded major cities in the country recently. 

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